Match Report 2001/2002

Lightning strikes twice for Phillips

Saturday 22nd December 2001 : Jewson Wessex League

Eastleigh 1, Lymington & New Milton 1

Based on reports by the Daily Echo

Lymington and New Milton's Leigh Phillips faces a 35-day ban after being sent off in an ill-tempered clash with Eastleigh. The Linnets hitman received his marching orders four minutes from time after allegedly elbowing an opposition player as Graham Kemp's side were held to a disappointing draw. The 29-year-old, who has scored 16 times in just 13 starts this season, had only recently returned from a lengthy ban for a similar incident in the corresponding fixture at the end of last season. Phillips, who faces another five weeks in the sin bin, got the red card during a goal-mouth melee as L&NM chased a late winner.

Linnets boss Graham Kemp said: "It's disappointing because Leigh is one of our best players and this suspension means that he will have been unavailable for over 100 days of the season. We had a good chat about his temperament when he signed a new contract last week and this is something he has got to control. Richie (Glenister) and two Eastleigh players got involved in a goalmouth skirmish," explained Kemp, who added that Phillips wasn't initially involved in the incident. "He was completely gutted afterwards and apologised to everyone in the dressing room."

The Linnets had chances early in the game. A Leigh Phillips shot after ten minutes was deflected for a corner and a couple of minutes later, the same player had another shot which went wide of the mark. For the home side, a cross from Platt threatened danger to the Linnets' goal but Paul Morris deflected the ball wide for a corner. Mark Smith then had a shot that well saved by the Eastleigh 'keeper. The home side retaliated with McAllister heading just over and back at the other end, Ross Drew shot narrowly wide before Eastleigh finally broke the deadlock on 35 minutes, McAllister converting Platt's pass. L&NM pressed for an equaliser and just before half-time, Mark Smith had another shot well saved by Andy Smith in the Eastleigh goal.

It was left to top scorer Richard Glenister to grab his 19th goal of the season and spare the visitors' blushes. Glenister headed home a Mark Smith centre with five minutes remaining as the New Forest side narrowly avoided slipping to their first defeat since November. The result left Lymington & New Milton in seventh spot, trailing out-of-action leaders Fleet Town by seven points but with two games in hand.

Lymington and New Milton: Kearn, Strong, Bailey-Pearce, Kemp, Morris, Gazzard, Drew, (Keeping 70), Smith (Metcalf 74), L. Phillips, Glenister. Unused sub: Marwood.

Match reports on this site are based on those appearing in the New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times (except where separately credited) with additional material from my own resources where relevant.

  Online with the Linnets © Paul Johns MMI